WE ARE supposedly experiencing a mild El Niño phenomenon but its effects are far from mild. Agricultural losses are climbing. Water is getting scarce.
Yes, the leading concern is food and water security because prolonged drought would drastically cut down the production of local crops like rice, corn, sugar cane, vegetables and other agricultural products. It can also cause a decrease in fisheries yield.
The establishment of rainwater harvesting facilities in every barangay in the country could be an effective water conservation program. We are already experiencing hotter temperature, but rain showers occur every now and then. A rainwater catchment system could avoid or decrease the volume of flood when it rains and the rainwater collected could be used during the dry season when there is water shortage. These catchment systems can be built using low-cost local materials.
The creation of rainwater catchment basins has long been mandated by law. Republic Act 6716 was enacted in 1989; it requires the construction of water wells, rainwater collectors, development of springs and rehabilitation of existing water wells in all barangays in the country.
Communities should practice water conservation measures by avoiding excessive water use and reusing water, like gathering and storing rainwater for daily chores, using water dipper instead of shower when taking a bath, turning off faucets properly, and immediately repairing leaking pipes and running toilets, among others.
Each of us can do this. Collectively, this will save us a lot of water.